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The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina has warned consumers against the danger and negative impact of buying impulsively, saying it leads to over-indebtedness and dire socio-economic consequences. Gina was delivering a keynote speech at the celebration of World Consumer Rights Day at the Sun City Resort in the North West on Wednesday
World Consumer Rights Day was marked globally under the theme, Empowering Consumers through Clean Energy Transitions. However, the South African regulators added another theme, Creating a Fair Marketplace, as a way of reaffirming their commitment to protecting South African consumers.
World Consumer Rights Day is celebrated across the world on March 15 to raise awareness about consumer rights and needs highlighting that these should be respected and protected.
Deputy Minister Gina emphasised the critical importance of educating consumers to be prudent when making choices to buy products and services.
‘All the actors in this sector of consumer rights must scale up their education campaigns to inform both businesses and consumers about their rights and responsibilities when products are being marketed. We have a responsibility as consumer organisations to police the adherence to regulatory compliance by companies marketing and promoting product sales,” said Gina.
She added that the biggest problem is consumers who decide to buy through emotions and excitement, and pay no attention to the fine print and quality inspections. “These things tend to catch up with them as the consequences of emotional and impulsive buying, and bad financial decisions are over-indebtedness and failure to service one’s debts”.